LinkedIn (Finally) Rolls Out Retargeting, CRM Matching

LinkedIn on Monday launched its version of a CRM-matching and retargeting tool called Matched Audiences.

Matched Audiences encompasses site retargeting and account-based and contact targeting, which lets advertisers upload their CRM files to target specific segments or groups of IDs.

Customers have two ways to bring first-party data into LinkedIn. First is through a direct integration to marketing automation and onboarding systems like Marketo, Eloqua and LiveRamp.

The other option is to upload a CSV email list directly into LinkedIn’s data warehouse.

Matched Audiences’ beta test was its biggest yet, involving 370 advertisers and 2,000 campaigns over a six-month period. On average, beta advertisers saw a 30% increase in click-through rate and a 14% drop in post-click cost per conversion when using website retargeting, according to Irina Skripnik, a senior product marketing manager for LinkedIn.

“In our beta, we’ve seen higher-quality leads at a lower cost per lead because you can be much more relevant with account-based targeting or site retargeting,” Skripnik added.

Yet, LinkedIn has been slow to develop retargeting and audience matching, solutions other social platform contemporaries such as Facebook launched as early as 2012. 

The account targeting tool LinkedIn launched in March, however, let marketers target up to 30,000 companies at a time and was a precursor to contact targeting. (Matched Audiences increases that number to 300,000.)

Russ Glass, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions’ VP of product, told AdExchanger last fall that LinkedIn had to overhaul its marketing tech infrastructure before releasing conversion tracking and certain Matched Audience features like retargeting.

“There were different systems to render the ad, handle the targeting component and the forecasting element,” Glass said. “We brought all of that together and unified it so that one system is now multitenant and accepts more ad formats.”

And LinkedIn also needed to be cognizant of privacy concerns.

“Having been here six years, this is a company that always has been and continues to be members-first,” Skripnik added.

“We developed this to be a private, secure, anonymous way for advertisers to reach people who matter most to them,” she added. “Although Matched Audiences is a targeting capability, we are keeping the frequency caps that each product [such as Sponsored InMail or Sponsored Updates] already has.”

LinkedIn also updated the terms of service around its privacy policy late last week, though the company said it was unrelated to the Monday release of Matched Audiences.

Part of the addendum says LinkedIn “will allow certain third-party services to show your profile to their users, so that you can be more easily found for opportunities and connect with people,” though users can opt out.

LinkedIn also noted it will continue to operate under a separate terms of service than its parent Microsoft while “leveraging Microsoft technology and resources to offer more valuable features and services to you.”

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